Investing in Education Will Build a Stronger Texas Economy

Chandra Villanueva

The best way for Texas to grow its economy is by investing in a well-educated workforce, according to a new paper published by EPI for the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN), a network of 61 state and local economic think tanks and 25 national partners founded by the Economic Policy Institute and several other […]

Sizing Up The Texas Budget: Public Education

Chandra Villanueva

Next week, our schools will open to serve 80,000 more students than last year, bringing the total number of children in Texas’ public schools to nearly 5 million. Public school enrollment has increased by about 20 percent over the last decade, and most of that growth has been in the number of economically disadvantaged children. […]

What can be done to help disadvantaged children succeed in school?

Dick Lavine, Senior Fiscal Analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities

What can be done to address the barriers that often make it difficult for disadvantaged children to succeed in school?   Noted education researcher Helen Ladd of Duke University proposes three steps, all backed by extensive research: Disadvantaged children often suffer from poor health and nutrition—which can be corrected by high-quality early childhood and preschool programs. […]

Steps In The Right Direction for Improving Schooling for Teen Parents

Working for a Better Texas

By Eric Bybee Texas has the fourth-highest rate of teen pregnancy in the nation, with a total of 48,586 teen births in 2010. Parenthood is a leading cause of school dropouts for female students. According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, only about 51 percent of teen moms have a high […]

2013 Lege Wrap-Up: Public Education

Chandra Villanueva

As predicted, this session’s debates around school choice were used as a distraction from discussing real solutions to the state’s education challenges. Fortunately, all the different voucher proposals, which would divert state funds for public education to cover all or part of a student’s tuition at a private or religious school, were defeated. The legislature […]

Preliminary Look at Public School Funding in the State Budget

In the state budget deal for 2014-15 that’s still a few pieces short of being finalized by the 83rd Legislature, public education would see a 7 percent biennial increase, from $52 billion in 2012-13 to $56 billion in 2014-15.  General Revenue support for public education would rise by 8 percent in SB 1, or 8.5 percent […]

Budget Conference Committee Proposal Doesn’t Account For Growth

With just a few days left in the 2013 legislative regular session, details and summary information on the 2013 and 2014-15 state budget deals are finally starting to emerge. The conference committee report for Senate Bill 1, the General Appropriations Act for 2014-15, includes $94.6 billion in General Revenue spending, and an All Funds budget of […]

OPED–Lawmakers have an opportunity to do more for Texas kids

“When it comes to funding priorities for Texas children, legislators appear to be facing similar tough choices as they work to finalize the state budget. The Senate and House have proposed 2014-15 budgets that, at first glance, seem to highlight different priorities for Texas kids. For example, the House proposes more state money, about $1 […]

We Can’t Overlook Equity When We Talk About Public Ed Funding

Chandra Villanueva

Earlier this year, Judge Dietz found the Texas school finance system to be inadequate and inequitable. The inadequacy finding was undoubtedly exasperated by the $4 billion cut in formula funding and more than $1 billion cut from educational grant programs during the 2011 legislative session. As the Legislature works to restore funding to public schools […]

Open Letter to State Budget Conferees

Today, we sent a letter to the budget conferees outlining our recommendations for reconciling the differences between the House and the Senate regarding health and human services and public and higher education. The conference committee will probably finish making its decisions by Friday, May 10. Only a few days are left for you to make […]